Covering letters

 

Covering letters / personal statements require you to explain why you are applying for that job in particular and why you meet the essential criteria. Personal statements are sometimes included as an introduction to an application form, while covering letters often accompany your CV.

What is the difference between a covering letter and personal statement?

Covering letters tend to be brief introduction to your CV and give you the chance to explain why you are applying for the job.

Personal statements tend to be longer documents, utilising evidence and matching your skills to the job.

Before starting:

  1. Create a plan of what you want to include. Make sure you have all relevant documents and information to hand so you do not waste time when trying to write it.
  2. Consider why you are applying for that role in that company in particular. Remember to demonstrate the research you have done on the organisation.
  3. Make sure you cover all aspects of the essential and desirable criteria list, using these as subheadings if preferred.
    1. If there is no list provided, create your own list using the job advert and the organisation's website.
  4. Remember to support everything you say with evidence!

Suggested structure:

  1. Why are you writing? What position are you applying for and where did you see the advert?
  2. Why are you applying for that role? Why that company? Show that you are enthusiastic about working for that company and demonstrate your research.
  3. Why should they employ you? Demonstrate your relevant skills and experience. Remember to refer to your CV, but do not simply repeat what is on there.
  4. End positively, making reference to your availability for interview.

Further information and support

We are here to help if you get stuck or need a member of staff to provide some impartial feedback and advice. Here's how you can get support from us:

  1. Book an appointment with a member of staff. They can check your covering letter or personal statement and make suggestions on how to improve it.
  2. Ask a question on CareerHub. Ideal for students and graduates who cannot get to an appointment in person. We aim to respond within three working days.